by Ayanna Jacobs-El
The current face of EDM (Electronic Dance Music) is primarily white and male. Take a look at the majority of EDM artists invited to perform at major festivals like Ultra and the lack of diversity is all too apparent. This is ironic, since EDM’s foundation is from 70’s House music, which was created by the black, gay DJ and producer Frankie Knuckles. Even though minorities and women in EDM aren’t promoted as much as the white, male demographic, there are a number of stellar producers and DJs who show that there is still diversity within the genre. I’d like to introduce you to a group of them:
Vindata is a Los Angeles based Producer & DJ Duo: Branden Ratcliff and Jared Poythress. The two rose to prominence in 2014 after the release of their single “All I Really Need” which featured vocalist Kenzie May. Filled with an infectious, warm vibe, the song’s characteristics make it an instant earworm. In 2015, Vindata signed to Skrillex’s OWSLA label and has been releasing a steady stream of top-notch singles. They seamlessly blend hip-hop and R&B with EDM to create their own soulful sound that has a broad appeal. Check out their track “Own Life,” which features the talented rapper/ singer Anderson .Paak to gain a sense of the duo’s unique style.
Australian DJ, producer, and singer Alison Wonderland (real name: Alexandra Sholler) started studying music as a classically trained cellist. Her heavy and crisp production style has dominated dance floors around the world and made her one of the hottest DJs today. Her live DJ sets are spectacular with immersive visuals and high-intensity tracks that keep the crowd moving from start to finish. “I Want You” is a track that perfectly showcases her production chops and the bass-heavy, trap-influenced style.
New York-based producer and DJ, Jai Wolf (real name: Sajeeb Saha), makes uplifting and dreamlike electronic music that will definitely put you in a good mood. He’s played massive festivals like Coachella and Electric Daisy Carnival, and his songs have racked up millions of listens on a number of platforms. Playful vocal chops, atmospheric soundscapes, and emotional builds can often be found throughout his tracks. His breakout hit, “Indian Summer,” showcases immense, shimmery synths, an irresistible pitched-up vocal sample, and an overall positive vibe. If you’re a fan of Flume and ODESZA, you will love Jai Wolf’s sound!
Multi-talented DJ, vocalist, songwriter, and producer Anna Lunoe has been making waves in the EDM scene for a few years. The Australian artist has her own weekly radio show, HYPERHOUSE, on Apple’s Beats 1 and made history as the first solo female DJ to play on Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas’s main stage. Her signature, house-infused sound can be heard on her track “Radioactive,” from the prominent synth bass, punchy chord stabs, to the in-your-face kick drum Lunoe show’s that she knows just what it takes to make a dancefloor-ready hit.
19-year old New York-based producer, GEOTHEORY, combines jazz with contemporary EDM to create his own distinct sound. Growing up, he was exposed to a wide variety of genres from R&B to old-school hip-hop and house. He is currently signed to DJs A-Trak and Nick Catchdub’s popular Fools Gold Records where he releases music that has depth, with beautiful harmonic sensibilities, and intricate synth textures. An excellent representation of GEOTHEORY’S forward-thinking and otherworldly sound can be heard on his track “CLEOPATRA.”